Bangladesh slips 15 steps to rank 144th in press freedom index among 179 countries in 2013 report published by France based organization “Reporters Without Borders”.
According to the report at least 4 journalists were killed in Bangladesh in 2012, which placed the country at 144th position in the index.
The report said, Bangladeshi journalists are frequently targets of police violence. When they are not acting as aggressors, the security forces stand by passively while enemies of the media enjoy impunity and are rarely brought to justice.
It said, the killers of the journalists Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi, and those behind the double murder, remained at large and the investigation was cynically entrusted to the Rapid Action Battalion where it remains bogged down.
Reporters Without Borders is worried by a decline in the media’s ability to work freely in Bangladesh and, in particular, by a spate of physical attacks and threats against journalists, as well as cases of harassment by the authorities.
The report says, journalists continued to be exposed to violence in Bangladesh and were regularly subjected to threats from political groups and their supporters.
“In Bangladesh, opposition groups and the ruling Awami League took turns to attack and obstruct the press. Despite genuine media pluralism, the law allows the government to maintain exces¬sive control over the media and the Internet”, report added.
Bangladesh ranked 129th on 2011-’12, 126th on 2010 and 121st on 2009.
Among the South Asian countries anly Pakistan and Sri Lanka are behind Bangladesh who ranked 150th and 162nd respectevily. Onthe other hand Bhutan Ranked 82nd, Maldives- 103, Nepal-118, Afghanistan- 128 and India – 140.
Source: Taza Khobor